How did you know you were done having kids?

November 8, 2012

kids

We have four crazy, beautiful, infuriating, awesome kids.

We even have the perfect selection, two girls, two boys. Aren’t we clever!?!?

We also have at least one more child than it seems is ‘normal’ judging from the comments that strangers often feel compelled to share.

We have the future sleeping arrangements sorted (boys and girls will share bedrooms when they are ready), we have just enough stools for our new kitchen bench and just enough seats in the Big White Bus to still bring a friend or two home to play.

Logically, four seems to be the right number for us.

Even emotionally I am feeling like four is enough. I often feel stretched with what I already have on my plate, and I am beginning to look forward to the benefits of having older children. And in the back of my mind is the Father Figure’s heart problems, that big scary thing seems reason enough to stop at four.

So four it is.

We are decided.

No more kids at the Pickle Farm.

And yet… there is a little nagging part of me that would like just one more.

To be pregnant again. To grow another human. To hold a tiny baby in my arms. To watch another child grow.

Maybe just one more…

But no. We’ve decided. Four is right for us.

But how do I quiet that little nagging voice??

Will I ever look at a new born baby or a pregnant belly without a little bit of longing?

How do I know if I am really done??

How did you know you were done having kids?

And much love to those of you who don’t get to make this decision yourself for whatever the reason… I do know how lucky I am. :)

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo @Countrylifeexperiment November 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

We have 3 and I was keen for more, but Country Boy wasn’t (you can only fit 3 on a motorbike is his explanation).
Then we went on holidays in October for the first time with out having to take a heap of baby paraphernalia. No stroller, booster seat, travel cot etc. It was brilliant and so much easier than any holiday had been for years (I have taken a 1 year old to asia for a month). Soon after that, my sister bought her 3 month old to visit, and I was glad to see them, but glad too, to hand the baby back. That’s when I knew we were done! Still love babies, and occasionally get aching ovaries, but I know that I don’t really want any more.

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Rosemary November 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

OMG! I am thinking such similiar things. Although we have three kids and a car that only just squeezes us in with my knuckles scraping each time I have to reach in between the two booster seats…anyway. I nearly feel done but I could imagine one more. We always wanted four. There is not a big reason to not have another one…just a lot of little things. I want to be pregnant and hold a tiny person (that the man I love and I made together). My nearly two year old is no longer a baby. Our lives are getting simpler. But how do you know? I think you just come to the decision over time.

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Christie-Childhood 101 November 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

With next to no sleep for many days in a row, my catnapping six month old is a great reminder that we are done! I think?!?

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Amanda Kendle November 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I was just talking with a friend yesterday who’s about to have number 3 and feels sure they’ll stop there but is still very wistful about the whole idea of never doing it again (and she hasn’t actually had #3 yet!).

I don’t have the luxury of deciding (our beautiful Mr 2 is all we’ll be able to have) so I can be more wistful than most, but in a sense having the decision taken out of my hands is not altogether a bad thing. So to answer your question, I think a woman can only ever know they’re really done when biology catches up and you physically can’t have anymore!

WHich probably doesn’t help you one little bit ;-) Sorry!!

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Trish November 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I’m blessed to have two gorgeous, precious munchkins… and although I’d dearly love number 3, my 40th birthday is just around the corner and I’m not brave enough to go on… although my ovaries do ache!! I’m envious of your busy 4 kidlet household… if I had my time again I’d definitely get started earlier and have 4.

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Lisa Wood November 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

We have five boys, and hubby has made sure we dont have any more. Yet I still have that feeling every single day – that I want one more! And I dont think that feeling will ever go away? so I am not sure how one can decide if they are done having kids! Would love to know the answer :)

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Alissa November 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

If only that feeling would go away I’d be much better off! I never thought I’d stop at two…I always thought I’d have three. And I always thought the third would be a boy (two girls here). But…my depression is severely tested during the first 18 months of a baby, my kids never slept well, day or night, two seems right for so many reasons… but that ache won’t go away.

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cate November 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I have 4 girls and feel just like you. I often find myself gazing wistfully at a new baby and I don’t imagine that feeling will ever go away

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Sarah November 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

We have two little monsters 3 and 16 months… and I am done – don’t get me wrong being pregnan,t newborn cuddles and the first 12 months makes me ache for more…….but then they walk and then run and then tantrum and I must admit on a bad day – resulting from a bad night -my 2 beautiful, funny, delightful and totally draining children are the best birth control I can ask for!!!! That and I think (for me and my hubby) one for each or us to wrangle is enough…. but I will ALWAYS be clucky!!!!

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Jacquie November 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Oh Kate, I wish I felt like this! We have 3 beautiful boys & my husband & I always said we would have 4. But I’ve totally lost all clucky baby feelings though & I just can’t do it!! My husband (& all the kids as well) all want another baby but I’ve said no. I would love to have 4 kids but I just don’t want to go through the 1st 2 years again. I would happily be pregnant & go through the birth again (I had very straightforward caesarians) – I’m just done with having babies & toddlers. I have 4 nieces & nephews under 3 & even though i love them to death it hasnt made me want another baby. My youngest is 5 now & about to start full time school next year & life is just so nice!! We have done many trips away together as a family – on planes, camping etc & it’s so enjoyable not having to worry about sleep times, feeding etc etc. & we have all had a really good time. But i dont know if that feeling will go away – that maybe we should have had one more. Aahh – if only it were simple & we knew when we were done or not ;-)

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Linda November 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

We always said two was enough, and now that we are toilet training child number two, the prospect of going back to nappies and bottles is beyond me. But I did love being pregnant and growing a human inside me, and babies are so delicious that it is a bit sad sometimes.

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Vanessa Smolders November 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I have two and long for a third… my neighbour (now in her 60s) said that the feeling of wanting another doesn’t go away until menopause!

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Bek @ Just For Daisy November 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Oh no! I really don’t like this post!! After having #2 I had thoughts of, imagine if it’s the last time I’m pregnant. The last time I give birth. The last child I name. The last child I feed and rock at night. And I don’t like it! I really don’t believe we’re done yet, but I am definitely dreading the conversation and the ensuing years!!

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Amanda November 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I have two girls, 13 months and 3 years. I only ever wanted two children, and so did my husband. We are done. Planning on making it impossible soon… snip snip!!
I also didn’t enjoy my pregnancies, especially the second one; bad morning sickness, than I developed pelvic instability and then gestational diabetes. I think that there may have been 3 weeks out of 40 where I felt good.
Plus, like Alissa, I have depression which seriously worsens within a few months of birth, and I don’t want to go through that again, only doing better for the last few months.
When I see pregnant women now, I think “poor thing”…

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Nicole Harry November 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I am not done. As you know Kate, I have three girls but I want just ONE more baby. But hubby was done two ago. I have benn lucky to have my three. But just one more…..
It is tough to know who has the more valid reasons, the need to buy a new car, the ease of the kids getting older, the march of time, but there is always just one more…

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Lulu November 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm

We have 2 boys {both still under 3} and always said we would just have 2 but I also feel like you but occasionly I have twinges and think about another and we have not taken any permanent measures to stop having another but I don`t think it is likely.

For us, the main reason is money. Living abroad but wanting to go home once a year means we have to find money for at least 3 plane tickets, sometimes 4.

Can I saw we definitely won`t have a 3rd? No, I can`t but despite my age {still under 30} I have been told it would be bed rest for final 3 months based on prem labour with 1st stopped by meds and premature birth with 2nd and with 2 other kids to care for that would be tough.

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Jen November 9, 2012 at 1:52 am

Advice I’ve heard that made sense to me was: (1)when you feel that you are literally missing a person from your family, like when you call everyone and feel like there’s supposed to be one more until you realize they are all there (2) when both parents agree that it would be a good idea (3) after praying about it and feeling a sense that it would be good.
I have wrestled with it myself and my hubby and I have gone back and forth individually but at this time we are in agreement and hoping for another one whenever God allows it to happen.

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Lauren Burke November 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

No idea !! I wonder about this almost everyday !! with my 2 yr old boy getting more independent and growing so fast I think ‘where is my baby??’. We too, still want to travel and explore, everything is set up for 2 adults and 2 kids, life is getting easier. Plus, I am 3/4 the way through a very long teaching degree and the prospect of finishing within 2 years is exciting. But still….. just a glimpse at a tiny newbie or a photo of someone elses makes me wonder! I always wanted 4, but with 1 of each, thats pretty good too right now!(Plus, they are expensive!!)
Lauren :)

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Doll November 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

I have one gorgeous nearly 9 yo and have no plans for any more. I divorced when she was 11 months old and it took until she was 7 to find my new Mr Wonderful. When she was about 3 I decided that even if I meet someone that day there would be a massive gap between her and my next child… I din’t like the idea of having two only children in the same family. Her father went on to have more children (and continues to) so she isnt starved of siblings.

My new partner has two gorgeous girls from his previous marriage so really we have three girls now! Early onset menopause at 34 thrown a spanner in the works of ever having any more anyway and was a real shock to me!

We are happy with the three, my one and his two, any more and bums in seats becomes an issue in our 4WD!

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Alana November 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

I always wanted at least two kids..but when our second was born I still had that nagging voice in my head that desperately wanted just one more baby. In my mind our family wasn’t complete, someone was missing. When our third was born I knew our family was complete, that nagging feeling is gone, she completes our family. I still love to have a cuddle of friends newborns and enjoy those newborn snuggles, but I give them back I have no desire to add any more to our family.

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Kazzie November 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Finances! … lol! :)

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Dj November 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

We have two, boy and girl. We both wanted more but when our son weighed in at 10 lb 2 oz, we knew we couldn’t risk it. Even my doctor said it was probably not wise.

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Tracey November 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

As you know number three has just arrived and on day 3 when all the drugs had worn off I was like no way I am doing this again and hubby was like good we wont have an argument then……..day 5 I saw a preggie lady and had a tear thinking about the fact that I might never do this again! A friends mum (yes she is 70) tells me you never lose that feeling of wanting another………………………………

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Lou November 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I have one child and it just feels right. I have no desire for another one, even though when I first had my daughter I was certain we would start trying again when she was six months old. When she was about two months old I remember looking at her and thinking I never want another child, just her. It’s hard because my partner wants more, we’re surrounded by people with two or more kids, who often want more, and we’re the odd ones out but it just feels right.

I sort of enjoyed being pregnant – both it and breastfeeding do amazing things to my mental health, and babies are great, I just have no desire at all to do it again. No ache, no cluckiness, nothing.

So count me as one of the “I just know” crowd. It’s nothing to do with money or pregnancy or babies, I just don’t want another kid.

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Deb November 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I always wanted two, and never feel like I want another. Possibly helped by the fact that little girl was such a horrible sleeper I’m never risking that again. She didn’t get a 5 hour block until she was over 2 and was still waking about 5 times a night.

I’ve always liked the age my children are. When they were babies I was passionate about breastfeeding, slings, cloth nappies and thoroughly enjoyed it. As toddlers and preschoolers we played and cooked and I wasn’t into babies. Now they are at school and I want to read and be able to talk to kids and I’m not into toddlers. Cute to watch, not to be around.

My life was seriously unbalanced and I was stir crazy at the beginning of the year. Getting a job and being away from them is the best thing I’ve ever done, I wasn’t a good Mum any more because I was so over it. If we’d lived somewhere else and I’d been able to work part time or have something for me I might have enjoyed it longer, but our choices were all or nothing. The idea of going back to babies again makes me feel sick.

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Anon November 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

I’m a regular reader but posting as anon, but Kate, you will know who it is from the email address.
I have 2 boys, 8 and 6 and thought I was done, shop shut. But hubby desperately wanted another and especially wanted a girl. When I had my mirena taken out when youngest turned 5 we decided to just ‘see what happens’. About a year later I was pregnant! But our 12 week scan showed problems and a cvs and an amnio and a 20 week scan confirmed that this little girl just couldn’t go on. So now I am sitting here very confused about whether to try again. I see little girls down the street and yearn for our little girl, but don’t know if I could do it again. I look at my boys and am grateful that they are healthy and think about that age gap that is just getting bigger each month. Very difficult decision.

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Homemaker Mummy November 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hi,
This was my dilemma about a month ago & the reason for my starting a blog. I’m almost 38 have a 15, 4 & 2 yr old & now surprisingly planning for another. Homemaker daddy & I WERE done. Or so we’d thought. My 1st child is from a previous marriage & a son & daughter we share. Mind you we live in a 3 bed duplex?? Anyhow I booked in for the Marina to have done & the day before the appoint. I just cancelled. I’m still not even quite sure why, but I know that I’m supposed to be having another one : )

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Angela November 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

We have 2, a boy and a girl ages 5 and 17 mo. My second pregnancy was hard on me and my family who didn’t really get to spend time with me for several months due to how miserable I felt. It was difficult getting pregnant with my daughter too. When she was born I knew we were done. We’d always wanted two. I’d even planned for two (four stocking hangers… Saved blankets made by deceased grandma… Arranged month by month photo album to show two kids side by side…). I felt like my family was complete that first Christmas.
Then… My three closest friends got pregnant again all at the same time with babies 4, 4, and 3. Not one of them thinks they’re done. The last baby was born last night. I’ve been asking my husband to pray about having more for a while now. Last night (after babysitting 7 kids + our 2 bc we had been scheduled to babysit for a friend then took my in labor friend’s three as well!) my husband said he’s really happy with two and loves our family dynamic. I do too… But I hate that I’m done having babies!
I think that we’re done, but it eats at me. Hubby just said yesterday too that its time to wean our daughter. My last baby is getting big and its awful to hear friends gush about mothering more. But I love my kids, and I love the freedom of only having two.
Part of me is still hoping we have a surprise down the road but I don’t feel like anyone is really missing and I love my life. Now I’m just praying I learn contentment and not be so covetous.

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Leanne January 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I have an 11 year old step son and a 2 year old daughter. I “wasn’t supposed to be able to” have children. Little Miss was the most amazing surprise ever. Hubby is ready to be done. I am ok… fine. really? Really… I think. Because I wasn’t supposed to have any… So one is awesome. *She* is awesome. But secretly? I come up with baby names at night and type them on the computer to see which I like best and then I delete them before bed. (Well I delete most of them.) So… I think more often than not we don’t really know. We just … live each day.

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sara vidrine July 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Well I was wondering the same thing when I tumbled upon this and I didn’t the smartest thing I knew to do. I asked my 85 year old granny. And she said “I would imagine everyone is different and some people don’t deserve any but I’m 85 and if I thought I was able I would try to raise a baby. She said the feeling has never gone away for her. But turn of events made up her mind for her. I am a very proud mommy of 4 beautiful girls. And I bet your thinking so..your trying for a boy? The answer is no..and yes…I’m trying for whatever God graciously gives me. I’ve never had a yearning to add a boy to our mix anymore than a 5th girl but I am pregnant now and I just have this overwhelming feeling that I am carrying a boy. Time will tell. But back to the main topic..As far as numbers go. I am a very firm believer that God will provide our needs. Maybe not wants..but needs and the bible says be fruitful and multiply so my number is probably higher than most. But considering my health and my husband’s I would say 5 might be our number but most likely 6 or 7. I think I’ll just know. When the possibility of another baby is gone or I start having grand babies then I’ll be done to help my daughters raise theirs if need be.

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